K2 trek 2018

The first day of trekking is complete and the team is now at Jhola camp.  Expedition leader Garrett Madison checks in with this satellite phone dispatch:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today is June 22nd and we arrived at the stop of Jhola (3151m/10,338ft) here on the trek to K2 base camp.  We had a nice day leaving Askole (3040m/9,974ft) about 7 AM.  We trekked up the (Barldu) river and had great weather, some nice views of peaks, stopped for lunch, and setup our camp in the early afternoon.  So we had a nice day here in camp and now tucked in for bed.  And we are looking forward to another great day of trekking tomorrow.  All’s well here in Pakistan and we’ll check in soon!  Thanks!!

(photo: Madison Mountaineering K2 archives 2018)


It’s all on foot from here!  Careful not to wake other team members, K2 expedition leader, Garrett Madison quietly calls in this early morning expedition update from the last town, Askole, Pakistan, before the trek begins on foot this morning.

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 Everest [it’s early] team.  We are in Askole (3040m/9,974ft.).  We had a great drive by jeep from Skardu to Askole yesterday.  It was a very scenic jeep ride, very rugged with some narrow river gorges.  But we made it to Askole, had a nice dinner, and setup our camp.  Now we are getting ready today to head off towards our first day trekking to Jhola (3151m/10,338ft).  Everyone’s doing great.  We’ve got good weather here and we are looking forward to getting the trek underway!

Loading up the jeeps in Skardu now for the ride to Askole

As the team prepares for some four-wheelin’ to Askole, expedition leader Garrett Madison provides this update:

Hello this is Garrett calling in for the K2 expedition team.  Today we are heading by jeep from Skardu to Askole.  It’s about a six hour jeep ride.  Beautiful day here, Sun’s out.  Looking forward to a very scenic and exciting ride.  Everybody’s doing well.  We are excited to get the expedition underway and start trekking to base camp.

Our lead rope fixing Sherpa Siddhi Badahur who was also the first rope fixing Sherpa to summit Everest with us this past season


Loading up the Land Cruisers in Skardu


Gear is loaded and ready to head to Askole


Our fleet of vintage Land Cruisers to ride to Askole

Team arrives Skardu

After a restful night at the comfortable Serena hotel in Islamabad, we flew to Skardu. We are thankful that nice weather allowed us to fly today, rather than driving the Karakoram Highway, a two-day journey. We are organizing gear today and tomorrow here in Skardu, touring the town, and preparing for the jeep ride to Askole. Everyone is well!

Approaching the K2 summit in 2018

Our team of climbers & trekkers have arrived in Pakistan and are on the way to K2, the world’s 2nd highest mountain!

Our advance team of 100 porters began the trek to base camp 2 weeks ago to help deliver supplies for our expedition team and reserve our place. The journey to K2 base camp is rugged, wild, and very scenic with breathtaking views! We begin in Islamabad and hope to fly to Skardu. I’ve been very lucky the last few years and had good weather for this flight, however, if weather conditions are not suitable for flying we will drive the Karakoram Highway, a two-day journey by road to Skardu, which is part of the original Silk Road trading route. While it’s a scenic and historic route, I prefer the flight! Fingers crossed for good flying weather!

From Skardu, we plan to drive by vintage Toyota Land Cruisers to the mountain village of Askoli. This jeep ride is a fun six-hour adventure along steep river gorges and mountain passes. From Askoli we will begin the trek, a ~100 km journey to base camp up the Baltoro glacier. We will pass by iconic peaks such as the Great Trango Towers, Gasherbrum 4, Broad Peak, then arrive at K2 base camp.

*** Stay tuned here for daily expedition dispatches!  You can also follow the team on Amazon Alexa devices and with our real-time location tracking map:  https://madisonmountaineering.com/maps/k2-2019 ****

Here are some of our favorite photos from the 2018 K2 expedition.  Enjoy!!

The ‘traverse’ on K2 in 2018

View from high on K2 looking at Broad Peak in 2018

2018 K2 Base Camp